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Thursday, 09 January 2014 12:17

Feedback on our Xbench Webinar

The webinar on Xbench that I conducted a few weeks ago is still being mentioned on Twitter and other social media sites. I am highly satisfied with the final result as I managed to present the program in a very practical way, both for newcomers and for users with some experience. This was exactly the approach I was looking for. In addition, I have received valuable messages from listeners who straight after the webinar started using Xbench on a daily basis and I guess I could not have hoped for a better result than that.

Following are some tweets and some of the most positive and complete testimonials received in our mailbox:

(As the webinar was delivered in Spanish, the messages were tweeted in Spanish. Most likely, the next edition of the same webninar will be held in English.)


Gracias por el webinario tan interesante y completo que has presentado. No conocía el funcionamiento del programa, pero veo que es una herramienta relativamente sencilla y muy útil para el traductor. Se nota que eres un gran conocedor del mismo y, lo que es más importante, sabes transmitir tus conocimientos de forma clara y sencilla. Además has sabido aprovechar muy bien el tiempo disponible para darnos muchísima información. Si me preguntaran, lo recomendaría totalmente.

María Eugenia Santa Coloma, Traducciones Vaikava S.L.




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Monday, 30 December 2013 17:03

The best Jamón Ibérico for Christmas

Two years after the Belgian pralines and one after the well-liked handcrafted recycled blocs, our clients, friends and collaborators have recently received this succulent Christmas gift: Jamón Ibérico from the town Jabugo, which is the most popular Protected Designation of Origin in Spain.

As we explained in the card included in each parcel, at Bluebird Translations we’ve been lucky enough to have a new neighbour at walking distance from our office in Amsterdam: Ibericus, a delicatessen concept store specialising in Spanish jamón serrano produced solely from the Iberian breed (pata negra). As I've been doing since it opened, it’s possible to buy full legs and request one of the specialist jamoneros to cut it all "a cuchillo" (with a slicing knife).

By the way, we do know that some of our collaborators are veggies, but I'm quite sure that they have found someone special to delight at Christmas time with our selected Ibérico ;)


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Selecting the best legs...

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Jamonero in action.

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Ready to be enjoyed all over the world!

Tuesday, 26 November 2013 15:20

Asetrad Webminar on Xbench by JC Gil

Asetrad (Spanish Association of Translators, Copy-editors, and Interpreters) has asked JC Gil to organize a webminar on Xbench that will be hold on the 3rd of December, Tuesday, at 18:00 (Amsterdam - Madrid time: UTC/GMT+1). The webminar will be delivered in Spanish and will last 90 minutes approx.

You can register here.

More info here.

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Introducción a Xbench

Sinopsis del webinario

En este webinario, los alumnos adquirirán conocimientos suficientes para implementar Xbench en sus procesos actuales de traducción/revisión mediante glosarios y demás referencias bilingües con los que ya cuente el traductor, o bien para poder seguir las instrucciones de un cliente que requiera el uso de Xbench en un proyecto. Se hará hincapié en sus cualidades como gestor multifuente de términos/segmentos y como herramienta personalizable de control de calidad para documentos traducidos. Todo ello se hará desde un enfoque eminentemente práctico en el que crearemos desde cero un proyecto Xbench al que se añadirán diferentes fuentes de referencia en el contexto de una traducción real que, a posteriori, será asimismo analizada con la función de QA. También comentaremos las diferencias entre la versión gratuita, que ha sido la única disponible hasta hace unos meses, y la nueva versión de pago.


José Carlos Gil es un traductor y asesor de recursos tecnológicos aplicados a la traducción afincado en Ámsterdam. Desde su oficina en el corazón del barrio del Jordaan, dirige Bluebird Translations, un equipo de traductores especializado en traducción jurídico-financiera, documentación técnica de electrónica de consumo y traducción creativa de marketing. Comparte su pasión por la traducción escribiendo artículos tecnológicos tanto en el blog de Bluebird Translations como en La Linterna del Traductor de Asetrad o el ITI Bulletin. Su pericia en Xbench le ha convertido en un consultor recomendado por ApSIC para implementar el programa de forma personalizada en flujos de trabajo ya existentes y para impartir cursos a traductores que quieran conocer lo mucho que esta herramienta les puede ayudar a mejorar la calidad de sus traducciones.

Combinación de idiomas; conocimientos previos

El webinario se impartirá en español y para los ejemplos se utilizará la combinación inglés-español. Está dirigido a traductores profesionales que no conozcan Xbench, por lo que no son necesarios conocimientos previos sobre la herramienta, aunque el webminario también será útil para aquellos que ya tengan ciertos conocimientos y quieran descubrir funciones más avanzadas. Asimismo, se incluirán en los materiales del curso los codiciados glosarios oficiales de Mac y Microsoft, y se explicará cómo cargarlos en un proyecto de Xbench.

Por cortesía de ApSIC, Asetrad realizará el sorteo de una licencia de pago entre todos los asistentes y, además, ofrecerá a los asistentes la posibilidad de adquirir dos años de licencia por el precio de uno.

We have just received this beautiful picture of the child we are sponsoring through Namasté, Hilde Bleijswijk's NGO, our co-worker at The Hub Amsterdam. It seems that a western volunteer teacher with a background in translation told them that yesterday was Saint Jerome’s Day, the patron saint of translators, and Sahil remembered Bluebird Translators and decided to paint a brick for the artistic wall they are creating at their school with references to all the Dutch donators and sponsors of this project that is changing the life of a lot of Nepalese kids.


This image has definitely made our day :)

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Hilde Bleijswijk

The Bulletin is ITI's award-winning bimonthly magazine. With a circulation of 3000 and readership of more than three times that, the ITI Bulletin is a well-known and respected voice in the translation and interpreting industry. It contains a range of articles by a mixture of ITI members, respected authors and industry luminaries, on topics ranging from literary translation to the latest technology.


PDF version



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 "We don't create words, we create worlds"

Brilliant quote by Jost Zetzsche that could perfectly sum up the positive and friendly vibe that we, ITI members, have experienced in London after three amazing days at this year's conference.


My conference kick-off couldn't have started better thanks to two interesting Master Classes on translation technologies. Even though I am a regular reader of Jost's articles, books, and newsletters, his master class and keynote speech were inspiring and already worth the trip to the UK. Furthermore, I was lucky enough to join him and Michael Farrell (IWS) in Friday evening for some beers and an enthusiastic brainstorming for a social project I would like to start up soon on pre-Hispanic languages in Mexico and danger of their extinction (more updates on this soon on this blog).

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Among other highlights of the program, I found Andrew Leigh's "Being contract smart" really useful, and Isabel Hurtado de Mendoza's "The quest for the perfect translation workflow – a collaborative approach", as well as the tips to be taken into account when translating patents depending on the client, which were offered by Eline Van de Wiele.


For the off-ITI-Conf programme, the line dancing and that "Stand By Me" were a nice release. Also, as if my first day as a member of the Spanish network couldn't get any better, I won the draw for the sequel book of our acclaimed Mox.


Like last year, our blog is once again proud to present a guest post on the Mediterranean Editors and Translators Annual Meeting, which is actually a summary of the article published in the January-February issue of the ITI Bulletin by Laura Bennett (@culturetrans). She is a freelance translator based in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, UK, that I was lucky enough to meet in Venice. She translates from Italian and French into English, specialising in Art History, Travel & Tourism and Food & Drink. You can also see my presentation at METM12 here.

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The Mediterranean Editors and Translators association is a forum for translators and editors who work mainly into or with English. With 190 members, it hosts a conference every year in a Mediterranean country with the aim of promoting opportunities for peer sharing of knowledge and expertise. The title of METM12 was Craft & Critical Vision: Diving Beneath the Surface of Discourse and it took place at the Don Orione Artigianelli Cultural Centre in Venice on 9 and 10 November, 2012.
The conference began for me on the Friday morning with a workshop entitled Translation Revision: how, why and how much. Led by Barcelona-based freelance translator Ailish Maher and in-house translator and editor Luci Vázquez, the workshop was fully-booked and included translators and editors with a range of languages, specialisations and experience. Ailish and Luci's intention was to provide a systematic overview of revision, including assessments to make and procedures to adopt when approaching a revision project in our working lives, rather than getting into the grammatical nitty-gritty of specific examples.

Stressing the importance of determining fitness for purpose of a text when revising, Luci began with the following quality scale: 0 - unacceptable, 1 - intelligible, 2 - accurate, 3 - well-written, 4 - very well-written, with only texts in the last two categories generally considered suitable for publication. With reference to Brian Mossop's Revising and Editing for Translators, we discussed the importance of revision elements falling into one of the four categories of Transfer, Language & Style, Presentation and Content. Ailish urged us to carry out a risk assessment when revising a text, in order to work out which of the four categories requires the greatest attention. Knowing when to exercise restraint was also stressed as being essential in a good reviser; over-revision being just as damaging to a text as under-revision.

Friday afternoon was destined for a distinctly literary flavour with a first session entitled Editing and Translating Literature for the Sea of Words International Short Story Contest. A group of Barcelona-based translators and editors discussed their involvement in MET’s project organised to provide publication-ready versions of four winning stories in this short story contest run by the Anna Lindh Foundation.

Next up was a ground-breaking MET event. Chaired by Sarah Griffin-Mason, the bulk of the presentation was given by Sarah Ardizzone via a live link with London. Introducing us to the Translation Nation project, Sarah gave an overview of the initiative's aim of engaging second language English- and native English-speaking primary school pupils in translation in a way that promotes literacy, confidence and understanding among children and benefits communities as a whole.
Saturday morning began with another round of panel discussions and presentations and for me these began with a session focusing on practical tips for translators. The panel's first speaker was freelance translator Timothy Barton. He amazed the audience with a number of automated hotkey processes set up to streamline his own invoicing processes, searches and file maintenance.

MET Treasurer Helen Casas spoke next and chose to recommend a number of smartphone apps, ones that sync with PCs and laptops in particular. An avid smartphone user myself, I found this particularly enlightening.
The final speaker of the session was Bluebird Translation’s José Carlos Gil who began his presentation by recommending two pieces of software: ApSic Xbench, an integrated QA reference tool, and the free LF Aligner for aligning previously translated or bilingual files, with which José Carlos reported great results. Co-working spaces, something I find a particularly interesting proposition for combating freelancer isolation, was the next topic before José Carlos finished with a discussion of Gmail Labs tools; the “undo send” feature for emails found a particularly appreciative audience. The session drew to a close with plenty of audience participation providing queries and positive feedback.
The next presentation was given by Ailish Maher and was entitled Quotations: lost in translation? Focusing on a topic that regularly comes up in my own work, Ailish was inspired to investigate this field on realising that there seems to be a lack of consensus among translators as to how best to tackle this issue.

METM12 concluded with a delicious closing dinner at a traditional restaurant near San Marco, giving us all a great opportunity to see the city one last time and to consolidate connections made earlier in the weekend. For me it had been an extremely positive event. One of the organisers made mention of a conscious effort to ensure that a variety of specialisations and interests had been catered for during this year’s event, and, as a non-medical or scientific translator, that was certainly my experience. I would encourage other arts translators to attend future events on that basis.

Laura's full report on METM12 has been published in the January/February 2013 issue of the ITI Bulletin. For more information about MET and METM13 please see


Thursday, 27 December 2012 15:43

Bluebird Translations Handcrafted Gifts

After giving away last year’s Belgian Pralines, the Spanish bishop who kicked Santa’s backside out of this country (aka Sinterklaas) has once again visited the offices and homes of several of our collaborators, clients, and friends in the Netherlands, USA, UK, Germany, Spain, and Japan to deliver these beautiful notepads made of recycled materials.


The artist behind this idea is Lilian Urquieta, a half-Danish, half-Spanish creative designer based in the gorgeous coastal town of La Herradura in southern Spain. She has used real leather remnants from her artworks to cover our navy-blue recycled notepads and hand painted our smiley Bluebird on their cover. The results are unique items that are ready to be filled with your favorite poems, your grandma’s best recipes, or your hand-drawn sketches while traveling during 2013!

Tuesday, 13 November 2012 22:14

My Presentation at METM12 Venice

The theme of METM12 has evoked the elements of craft and critical vision (in writing, translating and editing) that make discourse effective.



Sharing the panel with Helen Casas and Timothy Barton.

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Beautiful sunny autumn days and...

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... Acqua-alta as a farewell.

Monday, 08 October 2012 10:17

Article on Xbench by José Carlos Gil

La Linterna del Traductor is the specialized translation journal of Asetrad (Asociación Española de Traductores, Correctores e Intérpretes):

PDF version

ePUB version

MOBI version

Online version of the article

Online version of the interview with Josep Condal





















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